Laura Plummer 'Attacked' In Egypt Prison As Family Fears She Will Not Survive Sentence

The family of a British woman convicted of smuggling drugs into Egypt fears she will not survive a three-year prison sentence after she was attacked by fellow inmates.

Laura Plummer, 33, traveled to the north African country with nearly 300 tablets of Tramadol, illegal in Egypt, as well as some Naproxen, which she claimed were for her sick partner.

The woman, from Hull, was arrested at the Hurghada international airport on the Red Sea on October 9. She was sentenced to three years in prison on December 26.

Her sister Jayne said Plummer was attacked by fellow inmates, and added she would be surprised if the woman survives her time in jail.

"Now the real hell will begin," Jayne Plummer told the Mirror. "I will be astounded if we ever get her home. It's terrifying.

"Laura is petrified and on the verge of a nervous breakdown. Her mental health is going to be totally destroyed and my mum's too," she continued.

"They are traumatised. I think Laura could die of fear or even kill herself. I really am scared she will never come home and will die in that prison."

Plummer is currently being held at the Qena prison, where rights groups have documented alleged human rights abuses.

"That prison is notorious. The Foreign Office have put in an urgent appeal to get her moved to Cairo because they know it's so dangerous," Jayne Plummer said.

Laura Plummer
Laura Plummer, a 33-year-old shop assistant from Hull, was sentenced to three years in prison in DEcember 2017, after she was found guilty of smugglings Tramadol into Egypt, a painkiller she said she did not know was illegal in the country. Family Handout

A spokesman from Britain's Foreign and Commonwealth Office said: "We will continue to provide assistance to Laura and her family following the court ruling in Egypt, and our embassy is in regular contact with the Egyptian authorities."

The prison sentence was handed down one day after Plummer appeared in court. However, she was so distraught that the judge had to adjourn the trial until the next day.

Plummer's lawyer, Mohamed Othman, told Reuters: "It is illogical that she was dealing in Tramadol. She had only 320 pills. Even the plane ticket is almost double the price of those pills."

Plummer's family described her as naive and said she did not know that Tramadol was illegal in Egypt, where people use it as a recreational drug, in place of heroin and cannabis.

Her family is to lodge an appeal against the sentence.

Plummer's mother Roberta Synclair, told the BBC after the sentencing: "I'm still in shock after today's verdict. It's difficult and I can't believe it after waiting for two months."

What is Tramadol?

Tramadol is a strong opiate painkiller used to treat moderate and severe pain, according to the NHS. The drug, which comes in tablets, capsules, liquid drops or injection form, is available only on prescription in the U.K.

The most common side effects are sickness and dizziness. People can also develop an addiction.

More serious side effects, although rarer, include heart problems, seizures, breathing problems and hallucinations.

The drug has often been linked to terrorist organizations, whose members are thought to use it to endure pain and fatigue. It is thought to boost resilience and repress pain and hunger.

The drug is popular among members of the Islamic State (Isis) and its Nigeria-based ally Boko Haram terrorist organizations.